My Top 10 Outdoor Running Pet Peeves

Coach P, 20 pounds heavier & preggers with Stella!

Had you told me several years ago that I would one day come to love running, I would have thought you were on some serious drugs- or had lost your grip of reality.  Me, run?  Unless there was a vicious bear involved, no thank you. And now here we are and yes, Coach P does love to run. I actually look forward to my scheduled runs as I train for my next half-marathon.  It took a great cause to get me to strap on some Asics and go.  After my amazing uncle (my father’s twin brother, Paul) was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, I learned of the Team in Training event training program, Inspired, I signed up to train for and run in a full marathon in honor of Uncle Paul, all the while raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. 

Marathon training was grueling but the process helped to light the spark for my love affair with running.  And I got the added bonus of endorphins as well as quality bonding time with my husband who trained with me.  We wound up conceiving Stella and discovered we were pregnant just two weeks prior to the Kiawah Marathon.  Our run turned into a walk/jog after the seventh mile of the marathon thanks to a cramping calf, but we finished!  I continued to jog up until the third trimester of my pregnancy. I very much looked forward to getting back into the swing of things running after I fully recovered in post-partum.  Now, I’m very happy that my current Beachbody program, Les Mills PUMP, allows me to get great strength-training sessions in that compliment my running and allow me to get several good runs in a week without worrying about over-training.   And I’m faster now being twenty pounds slimmer than when I first started running!

Running is my “me” time- a chance to meditate, reflect on the day so far, compose a to-do list for the remainder of the day, enjoy my favorite music and just revel in the pure simple joy of my heart, breath and legs working in unison to propel me through our familiar neighborhood route.  But, yes, there are some things that take the swing out of my step, the proverbial wind out of my sails as I run outdoors.  I don’t normally like to get all negative, but these things make me need to vent and vent loudly!

My TOP 10 PET PEEVES WHILE OUTDOOR RUNNING:

10.  Irresponsible pet owners.  Nobody likes to step in dog doo.  Please, people, pick up after your pets when you take them for a walk.  That crap is gross.  Also, have the good sense to keep your dog on a leash.  I seriously don’t want to pepper spray your beloved Fido, but I will if he starts running at me.

9.  Smokers.  The smell of smoke makes me gag.  There is nothing I dread more than seeing someone puffing away on a cancer stick…especially knowing that I will have to run through your smoky haze.  My endorphin-laced Zen evaporates in your smelly mist. 

8.   Litter. Or rather the horrible folks who think it’s okay to just throw their trash out cars onto the street- or those who drop their cancer sticks on the ground when done puffing away (see #9).

7.  Inconsiderate drivers.  You know who you are. Chances are, you’ve even made eye contact with me just before you speed up to beat me at the crosswalk. Bonus hatred points to you if you do so while it’s raining.  You suck and I hate you.

6.  My glasses.  Speaking of rain, there is nothing worse than a run while your glasses are speckled with rain or clouded with mist.  Yes, you serve a most useful function, my specs.  You allow me to see despite my horribly imperfect vision.  But when it’s raining, you are an epic failure.  I may as well be blind.

5.  Our jogging stroller.  I can’t even begin to go into this because I will bring myself to a near apoplectic rage.

4.  Low cut socks.  After enduring a few too many blisters after sporting low cut socks, they are now completely banned from my life.  You are evil evil cotton devils.

3.  Unkempt trees and shrubbery.  If you have trees or bushes on your land, please try to trim them periodically. There is nothing worse than having to dodge tree branches or prickly shrubbery that are in my right of way on the sidewalk- well, except for being hit square in the face or knee or what have you by said tree branches or prickly shrubbery.  Invest in pruning shears for the love of God.

2.  People who park their cars across the sidewalk.  People, if you can’t fit all your vehicles within your garage and/or driveway space, do everyone who chooses to walk and run a HUGE favor and park on the street.   The sidewalk is called a sidewalk because people are supposed to be able to walk on it. They don’t call it a”sideparkyourcarheresoeveryonehastowalkaroundyourdumbasscarandbravestreettraffic.” And for good reason!

1.  People who don’t return a smile or wave.  Again, you know who you are.  Chances are I’ve already ran at least 3 miles before we spot each other. I am sweating buckets and high on endorphins but I KNOW we made eye contact as I smiled or waved at you. Would it kill you to turn your lips into a smile or raise your hand to wave?   Is your life that bad?  If so, I guess I should feel sorry for you but it’s hard when you seem like such a meanie pants.



Ah, that felt better!  Sometimes you just have to vent folks.

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